23th January // Tatiana Kizilova, Media Director of Reckitt Benckiser

Do we need to defend our strategy against the globals?

  • Tatiana Kizilova
    Media Director of Reckitt Benckiser

    13 years of specialization in media planning.
    15 years in advertising:
    3 years — own advertising startup
    4 years in network advertising agencies
    8 years on the client side.

What area do you work in?
— I have been working for Reckitt Benckiser for more than three years – it is an international company with English roots. Last year, the company split into two parts: Home Products and Health Products. Previously, I was responsible for the development of media strategy, its implementation and optimization for all brands of the company, and now, due to separation, I concentrate on health products. This is the larger part of the business and includes the brands Durex, Nurofen, Strepsils, Context, Veet, Scholl and others. Thus, last year I, in fact, changed the field of activity from FMCG to Health.
Does the marketing director need to defend the local strategy at the global level?
— It is necessary, if it is justified. Such decisions are not made on their own, but on the basis of market analysis, if, for example, consumer patterns differ. We take about half of our marketing ideas from the global strategy to ensure a unified look and feel of the brand around the world, and adapt them in Russia and the CIS. The second half is local solutions that we make entirely in Russia — from development to implementation.
Have you ever had a case when the global office had to say that their strategy does not work for us?
— If we talk about media support, then I have this all the time. An example from digital: in Europe, despite the diverse and developed Internet market, there are only two large outreach providers, Google and Facebook, and it is on them that the entire digital ecosystem is built. In Russia, the digital market, due to the large number of large players, is much more complicated.

Another example is that in Europe, older people have enough money to buy premium goods, while in Russia a person's income and consumption levels decrease with age. Therefore, I changed the advertising target audience for many brands.

When such examples are summed up, it becomes obvious that the Russian media strategy must differ significantly from the global one.
What percentage of the share of sales of specific products in Russia would allow a marketing director to say that a global strategy should be adopted? Sometimes it is easier to close your eyes to some differences, if only 2% of sales are in Russia — why change something then?
– As a rule, this is the current level of key indicators, for example, net revenue, sales volume or market share. It is also necessary to look at the growth forecast. Maybe the volume of sales is small now, but the growth rate is high. If the share of the brand's contribution is modest and there are no prerequisites for its change, then there is no reason to spend additional resources on this.
 Нужно ли отстаивать свою позицию у глобального офиса?
How many people are on your team?
— Now I have one person in the team, and before I worked alone. In RB, such a company structure implies outsourcing. I work with large media and creative agencies, there I have large teams that are focused on our brands and work only for us, and inside the company the staff is minimized.
How do you distribute work within the agency? Why is everything not one?
— I distribute them according to the level of expertise and the level of tasks that we face. If it turns out that an agency with traditional media expertise sags in some specific industries, like Performance or SMM, then on the basis of a tender, we select a supplier who specializes in this. If the agency has a sufficient level of expertise in several areas, then we leave it within one.
How will digital develop in your industry in 3-5 years?
– Stormy. Over the past few years, a critical mass of digital trends has accumulated that will change the face of pharma in the world.

First of all, it is telemedicine. It will intensively develop in the world, including in our country. This is especially true for countries with vast territories, such as the United States or Russia. The United States for 10 years of using telemedicine has made significant progress in solving the problem that the patient does not always have the opportunity to get to the doctor for a face-to-face appointment, and now the efficiency of healthcare has increased.
Глобальная стратегия
Secondly, blockchain. Telemedicine requires the exchange of a large amount of data — the results of studies, analyzes, photos of injuries, etc. To ensure the security of data exchange, their protection and verification, blockchain technology is needed.

Thirdly, the use of artificial intelligence and a variety of data science solutions for big data analysis. AI is already helping doctors make a diagnosis – and in those clinics where it is used, the effectiveness of treatment is higher.

Most technology trends come to us from the US and China. How quickly these trends will take root in Russia depends, among other things, on our legislation, local regulation determines the pace of development.
What digital tools are dying, and what is the future of your industry behind?
— In my opinion, no one has died, because in the category of health, all the same good old laws of marketing apply. We need to build brand awareness, get big reach, and so on. Various types of targeting are actively developing as part of the personalization trend. Over the past two years, we have been working on optimizing the targeting of advertising campaigns — we are trying different types of targeting and comparing their effectiveness. Even before the division of the company, I managed to try complex types of targeting on household goods, and now I have tested it on pharma brands. I can conclude that in the pharma category, one should not expect rapid growth in sales only from precise targeting.
In FMCG, with well-chosen targeting, it is quite possible to increase sales by 2 or even 3 times in a short period of time, because the consumer can afford to buy two or three packages of the product for a promotion — something can be taken in reserve. But if only one package of medicine is needed for the course of treatment, then the second one is simply useless.
Thus, in pharma, complex targeting helps to significantly optimize advertising costs, but sales increase is not so significant.
Tell us about your successful case.
— In my opinion, the most successful cases are those that show their effectiveness for a long time and that can be scaled up. For the third year now, the trigger model for the Strepsils brand has been working well for us. Back in 2016, a digital advertising geotargeting model was developed for RB for those regions where the incidence rate is increased. The trigger model allows you to more efficiently distribute your advertising budget across regions. Indirect, but clear indicators of success, we can consider the fact that Mail.ru soon released an allergy trigger model with similar mechanics to the market. A couple of years later, other pharmaceutical companies followed in our footsteps, picking up and developing our idea.We at RB have already upgraded this model twice — last year we adapted it for use on TV, and now this tool is turning into a full-fledged predictive analytics, and it can be used to adjust the business as a whole, for example, ensuring the right number of staff or goods in retail outlets, depending on the predicted level of morbidity in the region.
Are you experimenting? Do you allocate a budget for experiments?
— Yes. Last year, I experimented with different types of targeting, including real customers. It turned out that you can make a full-fledged outreach campaign without using the usual social demo targeting at all. For example, the entire media campaign of the Nurofen Express line in 2018 was built only on the basis of buying behavior — we aimed, in particular, at disloyal customers — those who try different brands of painkillers throughout the year. With the help of machine learning technology, we managed to attract them to buy our brand, increasing sales in the test campaign by 7% and ROI by 17 bp. I talked about this case in detail at the AdIndex and Future of Media conferences. In 2019, I continue to use this approach for Nurofen and have extended it to other brands as well. In general, we experiment quite actively, but experiments never come at the expense of proven technologies.
Why do you work in advertising?
— This is the best job in the world. All my life I wanted to work only in marketing and advertising, I even have a birthday on October 23, the day of the advertising worker. This is a very complex and versatile profession, because in addition to media planning, you can develop in related areas — marketing, creativity, strategy and even psychology, try on the role of a coach and teach something.
What advice would you give to marketing directors?
Don't listen to any advice. No one knows your unique situation better than you, unless you are an expert in your field.
A marketing director must carefully analyze the situation, listen to the opinions of those whom he trusts, but make a decision on his own and bear responsibility for it.
How to stay in the industry trend? What to read, watch?
— Usually, in order to understand a topic, I look specifically for the information that I need at the moment. I prefer foreign sites because most digital trends still come from abroad, using sources of reduction. It happens that I promote brands that are market leaders in an international company, so I have no interest in reading what someone has already implemented in Russia before me. I need to find new breakthrough solutions, so in search of inspiration, I look at what foreign trends can be connected to each other to use in my advertising campaigns.
Lubov Zhenina, Commercial Director rta: